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Housing, and Living in the UK

What you need to know, in brief.

  • Local councils, housing associations and private landlords usually ask applicants to disclose unspent convictions. You can be refused housing on the basis of your criminal record.
  • Banks and building societies can only take unspent convictions into consideration for mortgage applications. An unspent conviction will not necessarily lead to an application being refused.
  • If, on release from prison, you will be considered homeless, the prison have a duty under the Homelessness Reduction Act to refer you to your local council for a housing assessment.
  • If you need to apply for a visa to come to the UK you will usually be asked to provide a criminal record certificate for every country where you have been present for 12 months or more in the 10 years prior to your visa application.
  • A visa application is likely to be refused if you’ve been convicted of an offence which resulted in a prison sentence of 4 years or more.
  • Foreign national convicted of an offence in the UK may be deported if they receive a prison sentence of 12 months or more.
Photo of Helpline lead, Debbie Sadler
Debbie Sadler
Helpline lead

Do you need help & support with an issue you’re facing?

We provide support and advice for people who need guidance with either their own, or someone else’s, criminal record.

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